Normal Is Not in Our Game Plan”: Seattle's Fight to Survive the Spread of  the Coronavirus | The New Yorker

Forest Grove, OR

            Times are tough all over as of now thanks to the coronavirus, but some businesses that have been deemed non-essential are taking a particularly hard hit since not only can they not sell their goods to a congregation, but a lot of them have been ordered to shut down during this time. Bars have taken an especially big hit due to the fact that people tend to gather in groups and social distancing isn’t typically the biggest concern. One quick-thinking entrepreneur is in jail at this time after trying to innovate and find a new way to conduct his business however. Anson “Smiley” Bottoms, a local businessman and bar owner in Forest Grove, had the idea to re-open his bar and practice social distancing by setting up a system that would allow people to enjoy their drinks and stay safe. Unfortunately his idea of outdoor booths that he constructed at his own expense were found to be against the city’s zoning laws, and rather than tear them down Anson persisted and was arrested for failure to comply only days ago.

            “It was a pretty genius idea,” said long-time patron Eugene Orneried, “It’s not a bad idea really since it’s getting warmer and Smiley only ever gets about a dozen customers in here at any given time. The outdoor booths let us smoke, drink, and he was even talking about finding a way to wire a small TV into each individual booth if he could find the money. For a lot of us it was just a good way to get out and get a beer.”

            Unfortunately his failure to tear the booths down resulted in Anson’s arrest and a huge fine that will likely end up closing the bar for quite some time, if not for good. At this time the city has taken it upon itself to tear down the booths and once again declare the bar closed and off limits.

@JazzHat55 tweeted:

            Man that’s some bs, he had a good idea and instead of helping him develop it or make it completely legal the city comes in and just shuts him down. Lame.

@AllaSumma tweeted:

            It’s sad that he got arrested and all, but hey man, there’s a pandemic on, people staying home to drink isn’t the end of the world.

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